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Special event! September 19, Larry Gilbert

The history and role of Brackenridge Field Laboratory at 52 years and counting

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Have you wondered about how and why UT Austin keeps a field lab in the middle of the city? Come on out to this special, one-time event to learn about the history and discoveries made at Brackenridge Field Lab (BFL).

In the 1880’s, leaders of Austin attempted to industrialize with hydroelectric potential of the Colorado River. George Brackenridge provided capital, and land for a dam and a quarry that provided most the dam’s structure. The quarry, abandoned in 1893, and deep silt deposits that followed the dam’s collapse in 1900, were two disturbances that ultimately created a patch of urban nature dedicated as Brackenridge Field Laboratory in 1967. This backdrop explains how BFL, as a keystone resource that fostered UT’s premier graduate program in biology, could be created although never planned for this role by city or university leadership.

Science Under the Stars is a free public outreach lecture series in Austin, Texas. The talk will be held outdoors at Brackenridge Field Laboratory, 2907 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, Texas 78703. Here’s the schedule for this month’s event:

  • 7:00 pm: Snacks, kids activities, and displays of local animals and plants discovered at Brackenridge Field Laboratory will be available.
  • 7:15 pm-7:45 pm: Guided tour of the field lab (wear sturdy shoes and bring water)!
  • 8:00 pm: Settle in, because the talk begins now!
  • 8:45 pm: Q&A with the speaker.

First time visitor? Please read our pet policy & field station rules here, and find parking info and directions here.

Fall 2019 Semester Schedule

It’s that time of the year, mark your calendars! We have four speakers scheduled for an exciting semester of talks, on the second Thursday of every month:

  • September 12: Megan O’Connell – Bees go grocery shopping
  • Special event! September 19: Larry Gilbert – The history and role of Brackenridge Field Laboratory at 52 years and counting
  • October 10: Caitlin Leslie – Sensory Superheroes: Extreme Animal Sensory Systems
  • November 14: Chase Rakowski – Plankton: the little alien-like creatures that might save us all
  • December 12: Claire Hemingway – Brainy bats: strategies for finding food in the jungle at night

Science Under the Stars is a free public outreach lecture series in Austin, Texas. Events are held outdoors at Brackenridge Field Laboratory, 2907 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, Texas 78703. Arrive early for refreshments and fun activities for kids of all ages!

Note: We will post the precise schedules for each event in a separate, event-specific post. Follow this link for details on the September event. Follow this blog or our Facebook page to get event notifications.

On September 19 we will be hosting a special event on the history and importance of Brackenridge Field Lab. If you’ve wondered why and how UT has maintained a field lab in the middle of the city and what has been discovered there, come on out! Details here.

First time visitor? Please read our pet policy & field station rules here, and find parking info and directions here.

May 16th Neighborhood Science

Science Under the Stars has expanded to include the Austin Public Library! At Neighborhood Science, previous SUTS speakers will present at different library branches around the city a couple times a month.


Sarah Barfield – Permaculture principles in the sustainable food movement

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Demand for sustainable, locally produced food is growing across the U.S. This movement has led to a resurgence in local farmer’s markets, urban gardening, and farms utilizing sustainable soil practices guided by permaculture principles. The results of these past and ongoing efforts to produce sustainable food have to led to incredible examples of abused land that has been restored to healthy and productive farm ecosystems. Come join us at Science Under the Stars this month if you want to learn about permaculture principles, soil biology and ecology, and more!

  • Thursday, May 16th, 7:30pm at the Twin Oaks Branch, 1800 S 5th St, Austin, TX 78704

May 9, Sarah Barfield

Permaculture principles in the sustainable food movement

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Demand for sustainable, locally produced food is growing across the U.S. This movement has led to a resurgence in local farmer’s markets, urban gardening, and farms utilizing sustainable soil practices guided by permaculture principles. The results of these past and ongoing efforts to produce sustainable food have to led to incredible examples of abused land that has been restored to healthy and productive farm ecosystems. Come join us at Science Under the Stars this month if you want to learn about permaculture principles, soil biology and ecology, and more!

Science Under the Stars is a free public outreach lecture series in Austin, Texas. The talk will be held outdoors at Brackenridge Field Laboratory, 2907 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, Texas 78703. Here’s the schedule for this month’s event:

  • 7:00 pm: Snacks, kids activities, and displays of local animals and plants found at Brackenridge Field Laboratory will be available.
  • 7:15 pm-7:45 pm: Guided tour of the field lab (wear sturdy shoes and bring water)!
  • 8:00 pm: Settle in, because the talk begins now!
  • 8:45 pm: Q&A with the speaker.

First time visitor? Please read our pet policy & field station rules here, and find parking info and directions here.

More Neighborhood Science!

Science Under the Stars has expanded to include the Austin Public Library! At Neighborhood Science, previous SUTS speakers will present at different library branches around the city a couple times a month.


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Two species of flamingo on a lake in Africa (Torres et al., 2014)

April 9: Chris Torres – Evolution of the flamingo’s smile

Flamingos are some of the most iconic and recognizable animals in the world… but where did they come from and why do they look so funny? After centuries of struggle, biologists are finally beginning to make sense of how the bizarre flamingo lifestyle might have evolved. Come listen to the story of flamingo evolution, as told by one of the guys who helped piece it all together, and learn about how long flamingos have been around, what their relatives are like, and what they looked like before they turned so pink.
  • April 9, 7pm at the Howson Branch Library, 2500 Exposition Blvd, Austin, TX 78703 **This talk will be held outdoors, so bring a chair!

     


 

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Tree frogs do not only live in trees. Photo: D. Correa

May 14: Decio Correa – All about frogs (and toads!)

What is the difference between a frog and a toad? Why do frogs call? Is it true that frogs are disappearing? Are frogs poisonous? What are tadpoles? Get the answers to these and many other frog FAQs while you learn more about one of the most amazing creatures on Earth! You will be guided through the life of frogs (and toads!), from the early larval stages until they metamorphose into jumping animals with all different colors, shapes, sizes, and sounds!
  • May 14, 7pm at the Howson Branch Library, 2500 Exposition Blvd, Austin, TX 78703 **This talk will be held outdoors, so bring a chair!